Design ideas are developed through in different ways, depending upon how an individual designer likes to work, upon the product being designed and upon the manufacturing processes. From initial paperwork, designers of constructed textiles may take their design ideas and develop them through on the loom or knitting machine. Designers of printed textiles will usually develop their ideas right through on paper.
‘Much design work is carried out in a very direct and informal way. The degree of formality becomes a function of scale and the number of interests represented.’ 
· Design is an investigative process; it involves research. The first stage in any design exercise is normally an enquiry into what the client (or potential client) requires; then needs and expectations.
· Design is a creative process, it involves art and aesthetics. Designs can be copied or invented. A design problem is solved with the help of know-how, ingenuity, pattern recognition abilities, lateral thinking, brainstorming, etc.
· Design is a rational process; it involves logical reasoning in the checking and testing of proposed solutions, information analysis, experimentation, field trails, etc.
· Design is a decision-making process; it involves making value judgments.
The selection of particular combinations and configurations, layouts or shapes involves considerable uncertainties. These are resolved by estimating the values that are likely to be placed on the various major alternatives. In this respect the task of the designer is closer to that of a manager rather than a researcher, scientist or artist. Estimating the social consequences of various design alternatives also falls into this category.
Solving design problems involves a mixture of the intuitive (having ideas) and the systematic (rational scientific appraisal). There is no single solution to a design problem, rather there are many solutions although some may be better than others.